Translator: Silavin & Raikov
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“Hold on, please wait!” Seeing that the three Monster Kings were rushing towards him, Mi Qi quickly raised his hand and shouted.
“Wait!” Yang Kai also shouted.
The three Monster Kings stopped instantly, but they stood around Li Jiao and Mi Qi, surrounding them with their Monster Qi, not giving them any room to escape at all.
Cold sweat slid down their cheeks, dripping onto the ground with a clear noise.
Watching the two of them, Yang Kai asked lightly, “Does Sect Master Mi have any last words? This Palace Master is merciful, so he will allow you to live for another few breaths of time!”
He wanted him to say his last words already? Black lines covered Mi Qi’s face. Suppressing the panic in his heart, he said nervously, “Palace Master Yang, Brother Li and I did not intend to renege on our debt, nor did we have any intentions not to honour our bets. We just… we do not have the capital to fulfil this bet. We should not have made such a large bet with Palace Master Yang without being fully prepared, but now that things have come to this, you have nothing to gain even if you were to kill us.”
“That’s right, that’s right! If you kill us, then those five billion Source Crystals will really be gone and you will also be making mortal enemies with our Fire Dragon Palace and Full Sky Sect.”
“Since I can destroy Seeking Passion Sect, why would I fear your Fire Dragon Palace and Full Sky Sect?” Yang Kai sneered at them with much disdain. However, he stroked his chin in a manner that seemed like he was considering things seriously and nodded after a long while, “But you are right. Keep talking, whether you can live or not depends on your mouths now.”
Mi Qi breathed a sigh of relief. He knew that his life was safe for the time being, but he also knew that if he couldn’t convince Yang Kai to let the two of them live, then they were certain to lose their lives here today.
After thinking for a while, he organized his words and began, “Brother Li and I can’t possibly gather so many Source Crystals right now, but a portion is still possible.”
“How much?” Yang Kai asked in a deep voice.
“Five… five hundred million?” Mi Qi asked tentatively.
Li Jiao nodded, “Five hundred million is possible.”
“Are you trying to dismiss a beggar with that?” Yang Kai coldly snorted, “This Palace Master earned more than ten times that from Seeking Passion Sect’s Treasury! If you dare mention a measly five hundred million again, I’ll kill you right now! At worst I would simply lose those five hundred million Source Crystals.”
“A billion, a billion!” Mi Qi hastily changed his words hastily, “We cannot offer any more. If we go any higher, then we really won’t be able to take it out immediately.”
This was already the bottom line for his Full Sky Sect. Even a billion would require him to take out several treasures to sell just to scrape together the required amount.
“And you, Palace Master Li?” Yang Kai eyed Li Jiao coldly.
Li Jiao said uneasily, “Yes yes, the most I can gather is a billion.”
“One billion huh…” Yang Kai paced back and forth, thinking for a while before nodding, “Fine, one billion it is.”
Li Jiao and Mi Qi were overjoyed at those words.
But before they had time to relax, Yang Kai added, “But you’ll still be short one and a half billion each then. How are the two of you planning to pay the rest back?”
“This…” Li Jiao and Mi Qi were at a loss for words, not knowing how to answer.
Yang Kai continued, “This Palace Master does have an idea, but I’m not sure if you are willing to listen.”
“Please enlighten us, Palace Master Yang!” Both Li Jiao and Mi Qi turned to Yang Kai together.
“If you don’t have enough Source Crystals on hand, then you can make up the amount with treasures. I believe that the two of you must have many rare treasures in the storehouses of your Sects. My High Heaven Palace has not been established for long, so we just happen to need large amounts of cultivation resources. Let’s see, an Emperor Artifact can count for ten million, so for one and a half billion, you only need to turn over a hundred and fifty!”
“A hundred and fifty Emperor Artifacts!”
“An Emperor Artifact is only worth ten million High-Rank Source Crystals?”
Mi Qi and Li Jiao both exclaimed in unison, cursing him in their hearts. Even though they had known that Yang Kai would definitely take advantage of this opportunity to cut off a pound of flesh from them, they didn’t think he would be so ruthless. This was outright robbery!
What Emperor Artifact was worth only 10 million High-Rank Source Crystals? Even the worst Emperor Artifacts would never sell for so little! What’s more, a hundred and fifty Emperor Artifacts was a ridiculous number. Even if both their Sects combined all of their assets, it would still be impossible for them to find so many Emperor Artifacts.
“If you don’t have Emperor Artifacts, then Dao Source Grade Artifacts and Origin King Grade Artifacts will do as well, along with spirit flowers, herbs, rare ores… As long as they are cultivation materials or rare resources, this Palace Master will accept them all,” Yang Kai waved his hand as if making it seem like he was a generous soul.
Li Jiao and Mi Qi’s faces were as black as the bottom of a pot. If they really did as Yang Kai said, then wouldn’t both their Sects be emptied by him? What would happen to the disciples in their Sects then? How could they still face all the Elders and Disciples of their Sects?
“No, that’s impossible…” Li Jiao was almost in tears, “Palace Master Yang, please have mercy!”
Yang Kai’s face turned cold, “This Palace Master has already given you a chance, but you didn’t cherish it. Now you want to blame me?”
Mi Qi and Li Jiao were both speechless.
Yang Kai sighed, “As Brother Ji said before, we are all cultivators of the Northern Territory, so we are surely going to see more of each other in the future. So, this Palace Master will not feel good taking things too far either.”
[You want to ‘apologize’ now?] Li Jiao and Mi Qi sneered in their hearts.
“How about this? This Palace Master has another suggestion. If this too is impossible, then you two can just stay here until your Sects pay a ransom to take you back. I’ll let the two of you go whenever they gather enough Source Crystals.”
“Please go on, Palace Master Yang.”
Even though they knew that Yang Kai’s idea definitely won’t be a good one, it was better than him exterminating their Sects and taking all of their treasures by force. It didn’t hurt to listen to his suggestions either.
“Once you manage to gather the first billion Source Crystals… You can pay the rest in instalments,” Yang Kai said while waving his hand.
“Pay in instalments?” When they heard this, Li Jiao and Mi Qi exchanged glances before cautiously asking, “How are the instalments going to be calculated?”
Yang Kai explained, “Since you both command top Sects, it is natural for you to have large incomes each year. In the future, a portion of that income will be paid to my High Heaven Palace. When you finish paying off your debt, the bet will end. What do the two of you think of this suggestion?”
Mi Qi said with great joy, “Palace Master Yang’s suggestion is good, we’ll pay in instalments then!”
Li Jiao also nodded, “Good, good, good, Palace Master Yang is truly wise to be able to think of such an idea.”
“Your heads are also pretty good,” Yang Kai smiled, “In that case, let’s do that. But we should discuss the details carefully.”
“Yes, of course,” Mi Qi nodded incessantly.
Yang Kai continued, “I take it your Sects earn around fifty million High-Rank Source Crystals a year, is that correct?”
“Just about,” Mi Qi and Li Jiao nodded. For those small or medium Sects, this was a terrifying number. It should be known that the Emperor Realm Masters who participated in Flowing Shadow City’s auction only brought around ten or twenty million High-Rank Source Crystals with them, and even that had emptied the coffers of their respective Sects. But for Fire Dragon Palace and Full Sky Sect, their annual earnings alone would reach over fifty million.
The difference was like Heaven and Earth.
“I won’t ask for all fifty million then, forty million each year will do!” Yang Kai said to the two of them.
Mi Qi and Li Jiao’s faces twitched. If they had to pay forty million each year, it meant they would only have ten million left for their own Sects. That was a greatly reduced figure, and their Sects would surely not have an easy life in the future.
But if they wanted to pay off their debt, then they had no choice but to do so.
The two of them nodded sullenly, agreeing.
“Good, after fifty years of payments, the debt will be cleared,” Yang Kai said seriously.
Both mi Qi and Li Jiao frowned when they heard this, with the former asking, “Palace Master Yang, this number… doesn’t seem quite right, does it?”
Li Jiao also chimed in, “That’s right, Palace Master Yang. Did you miscount? Brother Mi and I each have a bet of two and a half billion to settle, and we will be giving you a billion upfront, so only one and a half billion will be left. If we hand over 40 million a year, then no matter how you calculate it, it would not take fifty years to pay off the balance.”
If they went according to what Yang Kai said, then the total number of High-Rank Source Crystals their Sects would end up paying to High Heaven Palace would be three billion, which was five hundred million more than their bet.
Yang Kai sneered, “Do you two not count interest?”
“In… Interest!” Mi Qi and Li Jiao were both dumbfounded.
What sort of interest would cost this much? Five hundred million High-Rank Source Crystals was already ten years worth of each Sect’s revenue!
It was only at this moment that they understood Yang Kai’s sinister intentions. They thought he was offering them the opportunity to pay in instalments out of conscience and consideration for future relations, but who knew that he had actually been digging a big hole for them and tempting them to jump into it?
“You have two choices here,” Yang Kai looked impatiently at them, “Either you gather two and half billion Source Crystals worth of resources and send them to my High Heaven Palace within a month, or you can gather one billion and repay the rest over the next fifty years!”
“Palace Master Yang…”
“You think this Palace Master won’t destroy your Sects if you try to haggle with me again?” Yang Kai spat with an unkind glare.
Mi Qi and Li Jiao immediately fell silent, their faces filled with fear.
They could also see that Yang Kai’s patience was almost worn out. If they kept on dragging things out, then they would be the ones eating a loss in the end.
Exchanging glances with each other, Mi Qi said helplessly, “We’ll pay in instalments then.”
Even though they had to pay an additional five hundred million with this method, which would hurt them gravely, they could at least retain their foundations this way. If they really forcefully coughed up the full two and a half billion in a month, it would definitely deal critical damage to their Sects, damage they might not be able to recover from even after a hundred years.
However, it was now apparent that for the next fifty years, both Fire Dragon Palace and Full Sky Sect would likely have to take High Heaven Palace’s head as their guide, and the disciples of their Sects would also be unable to raise their heads in front of the disciples of High Heaven Palace.
Li Jiao had a gloomy look on his face, “I will also pay in instalments.”
“Very good!” Yang Kai rubbed his palms and smiled, “Both of you are men of decisive character! In that case, please return now. This Palace Master wants to see your one billion Source Crystals within a month, then we will collect the rest each year after. We should not delay matters, so this Palace Master will not keep you two. Please!”
Mi Qi and Li Jiao cupped their fists, exhausted, and turned around, walking outside.
Unlike their exuberant faces when they arrived, they were now completely downcast.
Nobody would be happy to encounter such a tragedy, and it would also be a headache for them to tell the Elders of their respective Sects once they returned. A lifetime of fame, ruined because of one wrong move! Both men were filled with remorse and regret, wondering in their hearts whether they should refuse to acknowledge their debts after leaving…
“Palace Master Li, please wait.”
Before the two of them could walk out of the hall though, Ji Ying suddenly spoke up.
Hearing his call, Li Jiao turned his head to look at Ji Ying and asked, “Grandmaster Ji, what are your instructions?”
“I dare not give instructions,” Ji Ying responded frankly as he tossed a wooden box towards Li Jiao, “As this Ji’s skill is lacking, this Ji is afraid that he may fail Palace Master Li’s request. So, I will return this Dragon Blood Flower to Palace Master Li. Palace Master Li should find another Grandmaster to assist him.”